UPDATE: Universal has set an Oscar-friendly 2014 release date for its James Brown biopic, now titled “Get On Up,” starring Chadwick Boseman (“42”). It will hit theaters on October 17 of next year.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul,
the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown,
taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his
evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
EARLIER: In addition to “42” star Chadwick Boseman landing the role of James Brown in an upcoming biopic of the legendary musician for Universal, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are reportedly being eyed for supporting parts in the film. This would be a reunion between the two actresses and their “The Help” director Tate Taylor, who is set to direct the Brown biopic.
Spencer won the Oscar for her supporting turn in 2011’s “The Help”; Davis scored a Best Actress nomination.
Universal gave the greenlight to the long-in-the-works biopic once Boseman was on board.
The film, penned by Jez and John Henry Butterworth, charts Brown’s early life of poverty in Georgia to his internationally famous R&B career in the 1960s and ’70s, with hits that included “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “Please, Please, Please” and many more.
The project, which has been gestating for more than a decade, began to come together when Taylor signed to direct. Per Variety, Boseman emerged as the top candidate for the lead a few weeks ago.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant confirmed that much of the film will be shot in Mississippi.